Istituto di Scienze Marine     
La Mesa G., La Mesa M., Tomassetti P. Feeding habits of the Madeira rockfish Scorpaena maderensis from central Mediterranean Sea. In: Marine Biology, vol. 150 (6) pp. 1313 - 1320. SPRINGER, 2007.
In order to assess diet composition and niche breadth of this species, we analysed the stomach content of 182 specimens collected monthly along the eastern coast of Sicily (Central Mediterranean Sea). Overall, 50 prey taxa belonging to five major groups (algae, gastropods, crustaceans, polychaetes, fishes) were identified in 102 full stomachs. Benthic or epibenthic crustaceans, such as decapods, amphipods and isopods were the most important prey, whereas algae, gastropods, polychaetes and fishes were only occasionally ingested. In terms of composition by species, the diet of Scorpaena maderensis was characterized by a variety of rare or unimportant prey, which was consumed by few individuals only, although sometimes in large amount. As a result, S. maderensis can be considered a generalized and opportunistic feeder. The feeding intensity followed roughly a seasonal trend, with a minimum food intake in summer. The individual fish size was the most important factor affecting diet. According to the observed ontogenetic shift, small-sized individuals fed primarily on small crustaceans (i.e. amphipods and isopods), whereas large-sized specimens consumed preferably bigger and more vagile prey, such as walking and swimming decapods. No significant differences in diet were observed in relation to sex of predator and sampling season.
DOI: 10.1007/s00227-006-0414-1
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